Ivan Malagon

Should I become a manager? - Cap Watkins

Consider whether you want to be accountable.

Becoming a manager or a very senior contributor means becoming accountable for all the things that go along with that role. Looking back on my career choices, the driving force for me was a desire to be accountable.

Even for people who are already managers, it’s important to carefully consider whether you want the new responsibility that comes with a promotion to director, VP or something else. Just like moving from contributor to manager, each level of management has the potential to be vastly different than the one before it.

No one is ever “ready.”

Also, there’s no amount of preparation you can do that will fully prepare you for the reality of managing people and all that entails. As with many things, the best experience is direct experience. So if you’re making a decision about managing people or not (and think you want to), you should go for it.

You can always go back.

Becoming a manager isn’t a life-sentence, an irreversible career choice. Sometimes, you have to try something to see if it’s right for you. But it’s not like you lose all your past expertise and experience just because you try something new. Just make sure to check in with yourself regularly and be honest with yourself and others, and everything will turn out alright.

The sliding scale of giving a fuck - Cap Watkins

One day, we were going a few rounds over a small detail (I can't even remember what it was, honestly) when Andy suddenly brought the conversation to a halt:

Hold on a second. I'm like a two-out-of-ten on this. How strongly do you feel?

I'm probably a six-out-of-ten, I replied after a couple moments of consideration.

Cool, then let's do it your way.

Ever since then, I've found myself more and more rating both my feelings and the importance of any particular decision on that same one-to-ten scale. Is the decision non-critical and I don't actually care that much one way or another? Then I'll voice my preference, but follow up with "but I'm a two-out-of-ten on this, so whatever you want to do is fine." Is the topic mission-critical, with far-reaching effects? My opinion will probably be a bit stronger and I'll debate a bit harder or longer.

Twitter thread about quotes from Keith Rabois interviews

Double down on your stars:
If you believe you have ppl who have 10x value creation, improving their abilities is way more important than trying to fix ppl who will never create 10x value.
Management drag is created when too much time is spent helping struggling employees.

How to identify stars?
Notice who people in the company go to talk to that they don’t have to (watch whose desk becomes popular – this is especially noticeable in an open office).
That's how you discover the problem solvers

What to do w/ struggling employees?
Most managers in baseball usually make the mistake of leaving in their starting pitcher too long, as opposed to calling for the relief pitcher
The starter got you so far, but you need a different skill set to go forward.

Decision making framework:
Don’t make a list of pros and cons; that’s not a great way to make these kind of decisions.
Figure out your number one priority, and optimize on that dimension.

If you try to constrain really talented people, you’re only going to create a mirror of yourself with your same strengths and weaknesses.
You HAVE to let people do stuff that you disagree with. You can’t tell how good they are if they’re just replicating what you’d have them do.